The Dodgers clinched the NL West for the seventh consecutive season, defeating the Orioles 7-3 on Tuesday night in Baltimore. Walker Buehler improved to 13-3, pitching seven scoreless innings on four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts. He now owns a 3.14 ERA. Corey Seager homered twice and Gavin Lux hit his first major league homer.
Per STATS, this is the second-earliest a team has clinched the NL West. The 1975 Reds did it faster, clinching on September 7. They went on to win a championship.
The Dodgers will return to the postseason for a seventh consecutive year, which is the third-longest in baseball history, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The Braves made it 14 straight seasons between 1991-2005 and the Yankees had 13 consecutive postseason appearances between 1995-2007. No other team has made it longer than five years in a row.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.